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Monday, November 28, 2016

When You Grow Out of Your Pants

It's a difficult thing to grow out of your pants.

Actually, with all of the late-night carbs, and begging my husband to take me to Chipotle, it was pretty easy. We're a solid four months into our first pregnancy and I'm starting to feel the extra padding that comes along with it.

I step on the scale in the morning and see another ounce or two tick up to the weight I started at before I made big life changes. Before I took care of my body and stopped eating as a measure to combat stress or overindulge on celebrations.

Not that I was a whole 30 fiend by any means -- those challenges don't have a stick-to-it affect on me and tend to make the pendulum swing for the fences in the opposite direction -- but I had made close to 20 pounds of slow, but meaningful progress.

And for someone who had carried extra weight, including a decade of self-image issues, watching the numbers on the scale blossom higher and higher is, in spite of all the good I know is coming from it, a little disheartening.

Before I was pregnant, I'd balk at the women who complained about their bodies changing under the weight of their growing babies. It didn't make sense. Couldn't they see that the very core of who they were was changing to make room for something wonderful?

Couldn't they take the focus off themselves for one minute to focus on the health of their child?

"Hellooooo!" I wanted to yell. "You're growing a child. Reality check: your body will change."

Enter: a passive resolve to behave and think differently if and when I ever became pregnant.

I'd never complain like that. Surely I'd have the right frame of mind to not complain in such a distasteful way. Especially in a time when I should be so thankful.

But I get it now.

I get how hard it is to fall asleep in a time when everyone is telling you to "sleep while you can because after the baby comes you'll party like a rock star every night" (I deleted those comments on our Facebook announcement, btw. We know.). I get how hard it is to breathe, sometimes. How sometimes even walking feels like your legs are marshmallows, even when your "baby bump" looks more like you've spent a little too much time at the pub knocking back pints.

I'm not saying it's right to complain. But I am saying that it's a lot easier to make promises to yourself when you have no idea what you're in for.

After running (literally) hundreds of miles over the past few years to regain control of my gaining body, I too balk at the fact that my jeans won't clasp. I too watch the numbers on the scale tick up, up and way with one eye open. Afraid to commit two whole eyeballs the witness of these changes.

Afraid of the will-power and discipline it will take to return to the way things were before it all began.

So much of this process, the frustration with my clasps and stubborn zippers is reminiscent of a time where I was at my lowest, health-wise and spiritually. It reminds me that this part of my life, like so many others, is a journey.

And I'm still walking it. Even in the midst of walking into motherhood.

I'm still working to make peace with the mirror, even when it doesn't make sense that we're at war with each other. Even in a season where I should surely be able to give myself grace for the expansion, grace for the stretch marks, grace for the extra weight around my middle.

Grace for the bits and pieces of my life I thought I'd have figured out by now.

And grace for the judgement calls I've made from the outside looking in.


Whitney said...

I feel the same way. As much as I believe people when they have body issues before, during, and after pregnancy, I always wished my friends would see how beautiful they are. Not because they've got "the glow," but because they're my friends and they are more than just their body. But it's so easy to tell people they'll make it through, and it's so hard to hear the same stuff back. I hope at least the rest of the journey is going well for you. <3

Brett W. Tubbs said...

Thank you, Whitney! You're one of the best encouragers I know. The rest of the journey is great, this has just been a little wake-up call. And a mentality I don't want to pass along to any future daughter ;)

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